What Causes Skin Cancer in Cats and How Is It Treated?

What Causes Skin Cancer in Cats and How Is It Treated?

Here we can see, “What Causes Skin Cancer in Cats and How Is It Treated?”

What is Skin Cancer?

Early detection and veterinary care are critical parts of your cat’s prognosis for long-term recovery because skin cancer frequently begins quietly and then becomes more serious.

Skin cancer in cats refers to a variety of malignant (cancerous) tumors that develop on your cat’s skin. Skin cancer differs from other types of tumors, such as non-malignant sebaceous cysts, in that they can travel to other parts of the body and harm other cells and organs. Skin cancer is more common in cats with shorter or thinner coats exposed to the sun more regularly. Skin cancer can be passed down generations since cats with a relative with the disease are more likely to develop it.

Skin Cancer Symptoms in Cats

Skin cancer symptoms in cats often start very quietly. The signs will become more evident as the condition advances. Examining your cat while caressing it daily will aid in early detection and better long-term therapy alternatives. The following are warning signs to look out for:

  • Redness or red patches of skin
  • Flaky or dry patches of skin
  • Itchiness in specific isolated areas of skin
  • Ulcers or lesions on the skin
  • Open wounds that do not have an apparent injurious cause
  • Open wounds or sores that will not heal
  • Lump on the skin
  • Swelling in isolated areas


While skin cancer can refer to various diseases that affect your cat’s epidermis, there are a few prevalent types of skin cancer to be aware of.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinomas are malignant tumors that affect the top or basal layer of skin and develop on the head, neck, legs, and chest. They grow in size and can spread to adjoining skin.

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Squamous Cell Carcinoma

One of the most prevalent types of skin cancer in cats is squamous cell carcinoma. Tumors commonly form near bodily openings and in sun-exposed locations, and they rarely spread to other sections of the body.

Mast Cell Tumors

Mast cell tumors are small tumors that appear ulcerated, damaged, or dead skin. They commonly arise on the legs and abdomen and can spread swiftly to other body areas.


The hue of melanomas distinguishes them from other types of malignancies. These black or brown tumors can appear in various places on your cat’s body.

Causes of Skin Cancer in Cats

The actual cause of several types of skin cancer is unknown. On the other hand, the most prevalent forms have several widely established reasons.

  • Long-term, repeated exposure to the sun
  • Exposure to environmental toxins
  • Exposure to cigarette smoke
  • Hereditary predisposition

Diagnosis of Skin Cancer in Cats

A comprehensive physical examination of your cat’s body will begin skin cancer diagnosis. During regular veterinarian appointments, identification and diagnosis may be possible. If you’ve already identified the signs and symptoms, keep track of any changes in the look of the skin or tumors. Timing your cat’s growth or changes in shape can help you determine the sort of skin cancer they have and provide you with some hints about the severity and best treatment options.

Following that, your veterinarian will take a few samples from your cat. Skin scrapings or representatives of any ulcerated tissue or mole-like formations will be accepted. Your veterinarian will also perform a complete blood panel and, depending on the severity of the ailment, a tissue sample from neighboring lymph nodes to see if cancer has spread. Finally, your veterinarian will want to use imaging techniques on your cats, such as chest x-rays or ultrasounds, to ensure that any cancer has not spread to other body regions.

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Skin Cancer Treatment for Cats

The excision of the tumor is nearly often the recommended treatment technique for skin cancer in cats. If skin cancer is detected early, the tumors may be tiny and easily removed through surgical treatment. Your cat will have to be admitted to the hospital and anesthetized. To guarantee that cancer does not reappear, your veterinarian will carefully remove the afflicted tissue, achieving clean margins or an area of uninfected, non-cancerous cells around the tumor.

Chemotherapy or radiation may be an alternative treatment option if the skin cancer has grown too large or spread to other parts of the body, making it inoperable. Chemotherapy entails giving your cat powerful tumor-fighting medications over months. Chemotherapy may cause weight loss or decreased appetite as a side effect. Various drugs suggested by your veterinarian may help to alleviate these adverse effects.

Recovery of Skin Cancer in Cats

The prognosis for your cat’s recovery is exceptionally excellent, depending on the severity of the skin cancer. If your cat’s skin cancer is of a type that does not spread quickly, removing the tumor will cure him and allow him to live an average, long, and healthy life. To guarantee that cancer does not reappear, it will be necessary to have regular veterinary checks. It would help if you also talked to your vet about ways to reduce or avoid sun exposure on your cat’s skin.

User Questions

Can cats survive with carcinoma for a long time?

Because there are few feasible therapy options for cats with oral squamous cell carcinoma, their prognosis is dismal. The forecast is similar with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy: roughly 2-4 months, with less than 10% of cats surviving one year after diagnosis.

Is it possible to identify if a cat has skin cancer?

Small, crusty, or scabby sores should be avoided. Body lumps or bumps that are unusual. Oozing fluid or blood from ulcerated sores. Borders of lesions that are irregular and hardened.

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Is it possible for an indoor cat to develop skin cancer?

Indoor pets (mainly hairless breeds) in the above categories may be at risk of skin cancer. UVA and UVB rays are absorbed by indoor cats who sunbathe in the sunlight through the windows. Squamous cell carcinomas in cats are also linked to high altitude.

Is skin cancer common in cats?

Yes, while their fur protects them from the elements, cats are more prone to skin cancer caused by the environment, such as squamous cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer connected to sun exposure), than dogs, who are more prone to genetically linked tumors.

Why does my cat’s skin have black spots?

Feline acne and flea dirt have one feature: they appear as tiny black flecks. They are, however, indications of two distinct illnesses. Although the causes of feline acne differ from cat to cat, it is a skin problem that affects a large number of cats and is frequently caused by: Environmental allergens and irritants.


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